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EU Neighbourhood Info (ENPI)
19 June 2013
Palestinian President heads meeting with UfM to push ahead on Gaza desalination project
19 June 2013
A top-level meeting headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas took place in Ramallah this week dedicated to following up on the implementation of the Gaza Desalination Facility project, an initiative labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
Ways of gathering Arab and international support to implement the project were discussed in light of existing donor commitments to provide financial support.
The meeting was attended by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamad Allah, his Deputy Abu-Amr, the Deputy for Economic Affairs, Mohamed Mustafa, and the UfM Deputy Secretary General for Environment and Water, Dr. Rafiq Husseini, who presented a detailed report on the progress of the project.
A UfM press release said the Palestinian Prime Minister and his deputies would press ahead with the necessary calls with all relevant parties to push ahead with the implementation of the project.
Deputy Prime Minister Abu-Amr said construction of the desalination plant would solve the water shortage that Gaza suffers, and called for the cooperation of all relevant parties. He said the government aspired to a quick implementation of the project, given the worsening water crisis in the Gaza Strip, where 90% of the water is not suitable for drinking or agriculture.
“What makes the Gaza Desalination Facility project even more urgent is the fact that the water crisis in the Strip will escalate at an alarming rate over the coming three years,”
The issues of electricity and wastewater treatment were also discussed at the meeting.
The Gaza Desalination Facility project was the first to receive the UfM ‘label’ on 22 June 2011. It targets the construction of a 100 million cubic metre desalination facility and distribution system in the Gaza Strip that will help to address the major water deficit for a population of 1.6 million. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Gaza Desalination Facility project –
Union for the Mediterranean –